Friday, October 21, 2011

Free Motion Friday Week 3: Slate Tiles

Welcome to the third week of our practice-a-long!   I love the enthusiasm and spirit of last week.  We are expanding to incorporate a great variety of experience and skill, which is making this really fun for me.  Clearly I need lots and lots of practice, but I am so thankful that there are many of you reading/playing along who are willing to contribute suggestions and helpful hints.  Thank you!

To remind you, this week we were trying to stitch something resembling this Slate Tile pattern from the Free Motion Quilting Project.


Let me summarize my post-stitching conversation with my other half to give you a flavor of this week's FMQ experience:

me: See!  I get better each time I try?
him (giggling): You're all over the place!
me: But I get better, right?
him: The girls will have a good laugh this week :)

And he's right.  Here we go.

I made three attempts this week.  I tried Slate Tiles the first time with my motorcycle gloves, sans booze, humming a lullaby (calming) and created this:


The good thing is this pattern doesn't require me to "see" behind my needle.  I still struggle with that.  This I could stitch like I read a book, upper left to lower right.  Comforting.  I was trying to focus on thread tension and the balance between my moving the sandwich and needle speed to get pert stitches.  I kept my feed dogs up as many of you suggested I should.   The result is the lines are very shaky because I was pushing faster or slower to see the effect on stitch length.  It was a good experiment.  The problem was that with the feed dogs up, I got a pulling/jerking of the needle on its way up that would yank the sandwich all over the place.

So, back to the old tried and true.  "Normal" tension, feed dogs down and motorcycle gloves.  (OK: this week I really need to get those gardening gloves.  The biker gloves are not really doing the job.)  And I kind of like it!  The stitches are still slightly shaky because my machine bed is uneven and some times I yank the fabric as I go over a bump.  Still, I'm getting a little better (or so I tell myself).




Feeling confident, I thought I'd try to tackle my old nemesis The Wave.  How quickly my bubble burst!  I still can not stitch a curve to save my life.  I have troubles moving the fabric toward me, which makes sense as I am more used to moving it away from me when piecing.  Let's call it The Ripple.  Maybe if I try this again exaggerating the curve it would be better?  I will keep trying.



The good news is I don't have birds nests on the back side and I have found my favorite tension/feed dog combo.  It's only up from here, my friends!



Thank you all for your suggestions of patterns you'd like to try.  I have a little list going, so Mr Random and I will choose one from your suggestions each week.  This week, we're going to give Bright Star a try.   Here is the photo from the Free Motion Quilting Project to guide us:



Leah, helpful as ever, has given us this tutorial by video:




Good luck!  Join in the linky below and see what others were up to this week.  Spread the encouragement and tips, please!  It's the only way we will learn.  If you need a reminder on the spirit of Free Motion Friday, please read the original post again.

(PS - Anyone else running linky parties through inlinkz.com?  I can't seem to allow photos to appear any more...and they were super fun! Can you?  Or are you text only too?)


30 comments:

Lynn said...

OMG i'd forgot about this, im off to have a go, gloves on, no drink...well only a coffee.

Pat said...

Thank you sew much for hosting this link-up, I just love it. I think your stitching is definitely improving! As everyone seems to say, practice, practice, practice! Have a great week!

Strawberry Patch said...

Cindy its awesome, you've really found your feet with the Tiles, As for the star, you are kidding right?!

Nicky said...

I'm with Emily - you have to be kidding about next week - EEK!

I think everyone will have a different combo of dogs up/down, stitch length and tension - we just have to find the one that works for us and it looks like you are finding yours Cindy - great improvement! Did you try the drinking beer/wine one ....I can't remember!? Heehee!

Katy Cameron said...

Sure, both of them look good to me! I am yet to attempt this - I'm blaming the lack of gloves... ;o)

Jessim said...

I think you are getting much better. I still haven't figured out how to do straight lines, so I stick with wavy ones...

I'll be joining you next week. The past few weeks I have been so busy with school/work it hasn't been possible, but starting next week my school schedule gets a little easier. I definitely need to work on my FMQ!

Manda said...

lol the convo with your other half! I think you got better as you went on! The second one is good!
I so need to join in and catch up with this!

Rebecca Lynne said...

Cindy I LOVE your second set of squares. I wish mine looked like that! They are so organic and well, slate looking. They look so beautiful and organic! I feel like mine were too tense or tight...need to work on my tension and loosen it up. Can't wait to see us all tackle next week!

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

Your second try looks brilliant - I couldn't get mine to be close together?! I also discovered, as well as not doing curves, I can't do straight lines so next week will be interesting!! I love that design though :)
I'm going to wait until the end I then try that wave again, it's a ******!!

Dianne Neale said...

Oh this one made me laugh. Not your quilting but you and your husband. At least he shows some interest. Mine never does!
The second set looks great, and no-on'es laughing.
Can I do next week's with my walking foor? It's the only way I'm going to get straight lines.

Annabella said...

Gah!! I can`t link up Cindy as my card reader is busted and I can`t upload a photo. I have done it - promise. It looks more like a brick wall than slates but it`s okay. Love your second effort Cindy - go Cindy!!

Pippa Parsons said...

Im going to try keep up with you all, tried FM with my Janome and hate basting so persuaded DH to buy me a frame and a brother so will start tomorrow, can't today as it's wine o clock here in France and it's half term starting *sigh/grin*
My tension on the brother bobbin is really loose feeling but seems to stitch well, I do love my janome with auto tension... my DH had a play with the frame and is a much better pantograph follower than I am, your dh and mine sound fairly similar tbh :O)
thanks for the push

Flying Blind... said...

Well your second attempt is great - well done you! Next weeks!?! I am laughing at my potential efforts already!

Irene said...

Brilliant tiles! Like you I put my feed dogs down as I felt I could control the fabric better. Still couldn't do it straight tho'!! Well done you. Now the Star!?!

Archie the wonder dog said...

Your second attempt is a huge leap forward - well done for persevering! You've definitely raised the bar withe your choice for next week - who suggested that?!! Would going from side to side be any easier for the waves?

Erin @ Billy Button Design said...

Oh Cindy, I think your tiles are fantastic and yes I can see a difference in the first and second..and no laughing here, I was feeling ok about trying this out for week 3 and then I moved down the page and saw...(in shock) next weeks task...What are you doing to us!!!!

kristastitched said...

You know what? I love how abstract yours looks and it brings to mind (for me) the old style keyboard on those ancient typewriters. I think my favorite thing about fmq is the scribbly/handmade/artsy look about it. I love the imperfection!

Katie said...

You definately improved on the second go! Next week looks easy but not at the same time. I can totally see myself not stitching straight lines with it.

Trudi said...

I think you did great! Nothing to laugh at all, you are definitely improving, and you are noticing all the little things that make a difference, tension settings and all :) Great one!

Jodi B. said...

Cindy,
Your samples look good to me. The second is more consistent. But, don't you think either would make great looking bricks on red or orange fabric?
Jodi B

mammafairy said...

Yes, it is definitely getting better.
The one for next week looks easier? but is it deceiving us?
Look forward to giving it a go.

Stephanie Nagano said...

Looking better! We can do this! :D (I did the slate tiles and I hated them. I did get my tension right, so the practice was worth it!)

susan said...

Next weeks does not look like fmq! I would be tempted to cheat and straight line stitch it!. You did great this week and would love to see photos of you stithcingin motorcycle gloves. Surprised you can do anything they are so thick and stiff!

Lynne said...

I think you are doing well - I have not even started #1!

Laura said...

Seen this?!!! If not, prepare to have your mind blown! http://www.daystyledesigns.com/mctavishing.htm
:)
Also, re linky party - maybe your subscription has expired? Text only linkys are free I believe, but you have to pay for the thumbnail ones after your first.

mammafairy said...

Hi sea algae, and lazy loops look like they may be a good try out?
I am being lazy and just going with the flow for now, so whatever you come uop with will be good.

Collette said...

Hi cindy great practices! I haven't been able to take part as the kids have been off on their October break and driving me crazy. The only thing I have been able to do really is a little embroidery practise when the kids have been playing etc. Hope to join up next week again. x

Janine said...

I think your second tiles are fab! I'm too late to link up but I've posted anyway and now I'm off to visit some links :)

Frances said...

Soon you'll end up with the best stitches for your slate tile. You just need to keep on practicing! And I'd have to say that this is my first time hearing about slate tiles being used for art.

tony wu said...

Visit Newstar official site and get more slate manufacturer factory info and best price inquiry

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